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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
There are always a few recurring questions coming up in this game, some have been answered before by the devs. This is an attempt to collect these information and the sources.

Maybe as a format, it could work as a FAQ.

Q: My skills don't do anything! I respecced/equipped something/adjusted my energy levels and the values on the "paper doll" for my ship don't change!

A: Make you you are in a system, not in Sector Space. E.g. around Sol or Qu'onos, in Ker'Rat and so on.

Q: How do armor consoles work? The number listed on t he console don't seem to be the resistance I get?

A: The armor console displays a resistance value that first has to be used in a formula to gain an actual resistance percentage.
The formula is roughly: 1 - (100/(100 + Resist value)). (This gives a fractional value, multiply it with 100 to get a percentage.) So an armor mod of +50 (or two of +25) gives only about 33 % of resistance. Remember that you might have passive resists from accolades or other sources (powers.) This is just a simplified version of the formula, the actual one is more complicated and also ensures the resistance cap of 75 %. Details are attached to this STOKed podcast with Al "CaptainGeko" Reviera:

Q: How do shield resistances (or Shield Damage Reduction) work?

Recently the discussion came up on how Shield Resistances work and stack. Some tests and a clarification by snix provided the answer.
Shield resistance are described in percentages, e.g. by how much the damage your shields take are reduced. Shield Resistances stack multiplicative. If you have value of n % as shield resistance, the damage you receive is multiplied by 1 - (n / 100). For example, if you have 25 % Shield Resistance, you have 1 - (25/100) = 0.75 as damage mutlpilier. If you have 2 shield resistance sources, you multiply these values. So, if you have 15 % shield resistance from shield power and 20 % from a shield resistance granting power, the effective value is 0.85 * 0.8 = 0.68 or 32 % damage reduction. There is also a 75 % cap for the final value of your resistance.
Note on terminology: Since Armor and Shield have different formuals on stacking and how the yare applied overall, I and others prefer to refer to shield resistance as "Shield Damage Reduction" (SDR).

Q: How do accuracy and defense rating work?
According to snix, accuracy and defense works like this: Accuracy - Defense = Hit Chance, minimum 25 %.
But this is a gross oversimplification of the actual system. A STOked podcast featuring the Cryptic developer Al Revira/CaptainGeko revealed more, and the poster BigRedJedi worked out what it means:
BigRedJedi's post:

Q: How do turn rate consoles and other turn boosters work? I don't seem to get the turn rate I expect?

A: Modifiers from the relevant skill and modifiers from the consoles are added seperately and based on your ships base turn rate. So if your ship has a base turn rate of 8 and your skills raise this to 11, a 30 % turn rate buff from a console or a BO ability would not increase it to 14.4, it would only raise it to 13.4. But, once again, it's actually a little more complicated than that, and various tests show that the base turn rate given for your ship is not used for such percentage buffs, but the turn rate -3.

Q: How do energy levels affect my ship? What does energy drain from weapon fire do?
  1. Weapons: Affects the damage caused by your energy weapons (beams and cannon). It does not affect projectile weapons (torpedoes and mines). At 50 power your energy weapons do listed damage, at 100 power you get double damage. (Formula: Base Damage * (Power/50) ).
  2. Shields: Affects the regeneration level of your shields. Below 25 power your shields do not regenerate. At 25 you get half rate, 50 gives you listed rate. Each point of power increases your shield regeneration rate by 4%, So at 100 shield power your shields regenerate at triple their listed rate. Also, higher shield power increases shield damage resistance, 125 power is 35 % resistance. (Formula = 0,28 x power level)
  3. Engines: ower controls your speed and affects your turn rate. *formula?*
  4. Aux: Affects various abilities including, most of them Science BO or Science Captain abilities but also a few Engineering skills. Aux abilities are scaled to be 50% effective at 25 power, 100% effective at 100 power in general.
See also these threads for detailed information on power levels:
PatricianVetinari's Ship Power Level Calculator
Nagorak's Guide to Weapon performance

Q: How do my Captain skills affect Bridge Officer abilities and Captain abilities?
Good question. It depends. Some Captain Skills have passive abilities, some (especially Science) only affect Bridge Officer or Captain abilities. A complete list with the actual effects would be too long here, and would better be reserved for another thread. The skills now describe rather well which skills they affect and what component.

Q: How do the weapon skills affect my damage?
Each weapon has a base damage, which it does at MK0 (Standard Issue). Weapon damage is based on two separate components: Equipment Mark and Skill Level. These are added to the base damage, and are completely independent from one another (ex: you'll get the same skill bonus whether you have an MK I or MK XI weapon). At Max Equipment mark/Skill Level (ignoring consoles) your damage will be 320% of the base.
  • Equipment Mark = 10% increase on the base damage per MK (Max 120% at MK XII).
  • Weapon Skill = 1% increase on the base damage per skill point. Consoles keep adding damage in this same way.
(Provided by Nagorak)
The effective total damage is thus: MK0 Base Damage * (1 + (Weapon Skill / 100) + (Mark * 0.1)).
CaptainGeko provides even more details on damage - there are several modifiers we're usually unaware of: Click Here

Q: What are the base stats of the various ships?
There are two excellent sources for this information:
Be careful though, sometimes these infos are not 100 % up-to-date since there are always tweaks going on. (Same applies ultimately to other information). If in doubt, test it out.

Q: How do cooldowns work?
There are 3 types of cooldowns in space:
  1. Power Cooldown. Each power has its own cooldown.
  2. System Cooldown: A 15 second cooldown shared between different powers that are somehow thematically linked (Like weapon types, ship components)
  3. Global Cooldown. A variable cooldown that powers with the same name share independent of rank.
The last big overview on this was posted here:

Q: What skills are trainable?

BigRedJedi has a nice list posted in this very thread:
Or use the Wiki:

How do the different types of Impulse Engines and the Ship-specific Impulse modifiers affect my speed?
A indepth discussion can be found in this thread:
Standard Impulse and Hyper Impulse Engines speed exceed Combat Impulse Engines beyond the following Power Levels:
  • Imod 0.15 - Cruisers and Most Science: Impulse at 58+ Engine Power; Hyper at 57+ Engine Power
  • Imod 0.17 - DSSV and NX: Impulse and Hyper at 52+ Engine Power
  • Imod 0.18 - Type-8: Impulse at 49+ Engine Power, Hyper at 48+ Engine Power
  • Imod 0.20 - Escorts: Impulse and Hyper-Impulse at 44+ Engine Power

Q: I don't really seem to get better drops on advanced or elite difficulty. Is this even working?
A: Yes it is, but the effects are small and it will require some playtime to actually notice the differences. These values were given by the designers on what is changed:
Dev Post:
  • Skill points and Bridge Officer Skill points: +25%
  • Green Items: 1.5 times increase in drop rate
  • Blue Items: 10 times increase in drop rate
  • Purple Items: 20 times increase in drop rate
  • Skill points Bridge Officer Skill points: +75%
  • Green Items: 3 times increase in drop rate
  • Blue Items: 20 times increase in drop rate
  • Purple Items: 30 times increase in drop rate
Keep in mind that the drop rate for purple items is low, so even increasing it by a factor of 30 doesn't make it a common occurance.